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Cobus de Swardt appointed first Global Programmes Director at Transparency International Secretariat

Cobus de Swardt, formerly head of the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa, will strengthen TI’s global programmes to counter corruption

Cobus de Swardt has been appointed Global Programmes Director of Transparency International (TI), the world's leading non-governmental organisation fighting corruption. De Swardt takes up his position at TI's Secretariat in Berlin, Germany, in May 2004, after leading the Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC) at the University of the Western Cape in South Africa since September 2001. The CPRC is an international partnership of more than 40 universities, research institutes and NGOs.

"I am looking forward to joining TI and to focusing on an immense challenge, namely tackling a problem that undermines development and deepens poverty worldwide," said Cobus de Swardt, speaking today. "Corruption deprives those most in need of essential life-saving services, such as medicines, food and shelter. Until governments, international corporations and civil society take the problem seriously, millions of people will be denied a chance to prosper."

According to TI Chief Executive David Nussbaum, "the appointment of Cobus de Swardt as the first TI Global Programmes Director will better position TI to tackle corruption on the global front. Cobus comes to TI with outstanding credentials and a wide range of international experience." Nussbaum continued: "He combines excellence in research with experience of advocacy for change and in building coalitions with diverse partners." De Swardt's appointment follows an extensive recruitment process which attracted more than 100 highly qualified applicants from around the world.

De Swardt will co-ordinate the work of TI's regional departments as well as directing TI's programme work in global priority areas. The appointment of a Global Programmes Director serves to facilitate improved exchange of information, tools and experience across the whole TI movement. It will also sharpen the focus of TI's work on four key global priorities: reducing corruption in politics; curbing corruption in public contracting; enhancing anti-corruption standards in the private sector; and advancing international conventions against corruption.

Cobus de Swardt's experience spans politics, academia and business. An anti-apartheid activist, De Swardt was the Chair of the African National Congress (ANC) in Cape Town Central from 1990-1992 and he has worked in the private sector as project manager for Siemens Australia. He holds a PhD from La Trobe Univeristy in Melbourne, Australia, and he has held teaching positions at universities in South Africa, Germany, Australia and Japan.

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